Orlando organizations to spend $ 75,000 on research to find out how beggars spend their money
Judging by recent reports on the matter, Orlandoians have a problem with the downtown beggar population (re: the homeless). Now, local organizations have commissioned a study to gain insight.
The goal: to find out how many homeless beggars are in the city and how they spend their money. The six-month study, slated to launch in September, will cost around $ 75,000 and will be paid for by local businesses and churches.
“I think what we might find out is that a lot of these beggars are truly homeless and kind of the toughest people in our society on many fronts,” said Andrae Bailey, former CEO. of the Central Florida Commission on Homeless. and founder of the Lead Homeless Initiative. “But again, the main point is that I could be wrong. There could be a bunch of professional beggars in disguise here, as some believe.”
Point out the confused shrugs at the last part of Bailey’s quote: Why would anyone assume that people living in the suburbs would really get dirty everyday just so they could come downtown and beg for money ? And why does it even matter what beggars spend money on after a passer-by pays it out?
The study comes as the city prepares to launch a downtown ambassador program next month. The idea is to hire staff members who are willing to take the initiative to approach beggars and try to convince them to move to the streets or help them access social service programs.
The pilot program will last two years and cost approximately $ 725,000 per year.
In July 2017, after a series of court rulings found anti-begging laws elsewhere in the country unconstitutional, Orlando overturned its 2000 order limiting solicitation to a series of boxes surrounded by blue paint. He also rescinded the 2007 ban on nighttime begging.
The city passed a new law prohibiting soliciting handouts from cars stopped at intersections.
Under a section of the law designated for “aggressive begging,” the city also banned begging anyone using an ATM and for beggars to approach a “captive audience,” such as people who line up before. Event. The law also says that beggars are not allowed to ask for money a second time if they are initially rejected.
Apparently, some members of the community find it urgent to learn more about these wandering individuals.
It might be a good thing after all. Or maybe it is completely unnecessary.
“I think homelessness can be very deceptive in the sense that you look at someone on the street and there is only a mystery as to who they are and what their real situation is what their real needs are” , Bailey said. “There’s a part of human nature that we want to believe that every person out there, you know, maybe is out there because they made bad decisions, that they could get away with it. straps of his boots – and in some cases, it’s true. ”
Bailey adds, “I think when we’re at our best as a community, we don’t make assumptions. We do not use assumptions and conjectures to develop public policies; we use facts, and we just never did a study. or a begging dataset. ”
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